Marsaskala, Malta, A Hike to the Three Cities and Paola

Marsaskala, Malta – A Hike to the Three Cities and Paola

Our last day in Malta eventually arrived. Susann and Little A were a bit tired after the long walks in Valletta the day before. I had instead not had enough of my hikes for this trip. My 20-kilometer hike from Blue Grotto to Dingli Cliffs and Mdina had been great and I was looking for more. I had during our visit to Malta in 2021 taken a hike from Marsaskala to the Three Cities and I really liked it. So I headed off from Marsaskala and passed Xgħajra and Kalkara before reaching Birgu, the first of the Three Cities. But my hike continued to both Fgura and onwards to Paola. Join me along the northeastern coast of Malta on my hike to the Three Cities.

Read more about Malta and the places along my path:

Leaving Marsaskala for a Hike to the Three Cities

Walking around Marsaskala Bay up to Żonqor Point takes some time. But once you have reached Żonqor the urban area disappears and it is possible to enjoy the tranquility of the sea. The walk through Marsaskala should, however, not be forgotten. It is a beautiful walk along the waterfront of the bay. It is just a few pavements on the initial streets that are quite boring to walk along. Luckily those distances are short and it is all forgotten when entering the Il-Park Nazzjonali tal-Inwadar. There is also an English name, Inwadar National Park, which is probably easier to remember for most of us.

Heading Through Xgħajra

It is along the waterfront of the Inwadar National Park that the view of the Mediterranean Sea is the best. As with my hike about a year earlier I passed by the Triq il-Wiesgħa Tower and the pillbox next to it. These are the only larger structures to be seen before reaching the village of Xgħajra. Well, there is also the Ta’ Barkat Sewage Treatment Plant right before reaching Xgħajra. But instead of looking up towards the plant, it is much nicer to enjoy the view of the cliffs. That, and to keep an eye on where to put down the foot. The path is quite uneven and requires some concentration.

The uneven path is replaced by a beautiful pedestrian path through Xgħajra. The path follows the waterfront along the whole length of the village and is first disrupted once you reach the SmartCity.

Being Disappointed in Kalkara

Arriving at the SmartCity and the area of Kalkara is in my opinion a quite sad sight. The SmartCity with its large pond is grandiose. But there is just that feeling that this area is supposed to be exclusive. It is not in any way welcoming and it is a relief to leave. But sadly the whole area afterward is a large construction site and it is not possible to continue along the waterfront from here onwards.

Kalkara continues to disappoint. The road towards its center is quite boring, passing by inaccessible fortifications and a scrap yard. Kalkara is also home to the large Fort Ricasoli, which is not open to the public. It just seems like the decision-makers in Kalkara want any outsider to get a good impression of their village.

Arriving in the Three Cities

My hike to the Three Cities continued and luckily it was not far before I could see the impressive city of Birgu. Birgu, together with Cospicua and Senglea, form up the Three Cities. This is one of my favorite areas in Malta due to the very impressive fortifications and the view of the Grand Harbour. It is an area that we have visited several times, but this time I just passed through toward Cospicua.

Continuing to Paola

My original plan was to take a taxi back to Marsaskala from Cospicua. But why? I was not tired yet and still had some time left before Susann wanted me back. So I continued walking. However, I didn’t continue along the waterfront but inland towards Fgura. Once in Fgura I just continued walking and was eventually standing outside of Paola Parish Church at the Pjazza A De Paule. I had surprisingly ended up in yet another village.

This was also where I run out of water. I had been carrying a few bottles all the way from Marsaskala, but they were all empty by now. So I continued up along Triq Hal-Luqa hoping to find a grocery store.

Heading Back to Marsaskala

I eventually found a grocery store and this is where I decided to end my hike. According to Google Maps, I had actually just crossed the border into neighboring Tarxien. I hadn’t even noticed and don’t actually know if the border in Google Maps is correct or not (it actually passes directly through Paola Parish Church according to Google).

Well, my hike from Marsaskala to the Three Cities was over. I had during the 3 hours that had passed after setting off toward the Three Cities covered a distance of 13.7 kilometers. Not very fast, but good enough in my opinion. Now it was only one thing left, trying to get a taxi to take me back to Marsaskala. The adventures in Malta were coming to an end for this time.

Stay tuned to read more about our 2022 December Visit to Malta. Read more here >>

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